On Tuesday, US Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the top officer stationed in Europe, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that more combat troops and their attendant support teams are urgently required in Eastern Europe to limit what he termed “Russian aggression.”
Scaparrotti, the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO and leader of US European Command, told a Senate appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday that Washington’s ongoing European Reassurance Initiative is at risk of failing unless additional resources are supplied.
“Five or six years ago, we weren’t concerned about being ready [to fight Russia] today,” the general asserted, adding, “That has changed.”
The general was permitted to speak at length regarding all manner of logistical, housing and combat resources his team would like to see Washington provide for their use, although whether those stationed in Eastern Europe would remain once the so-called Russian threat had ended was not detailed.
Scaparrotti painted a grim picture of defeat and destruction unless his demands for more engineers, aviation and fire support personnel as a means to bolster US forces already in the region were met, according to Stripes.com.
“Russia’s posture is not a light force,” Scaparrotti warned. “It’s a heavy force.”
The United States already has permanently stationed in Eastern Europe some of the most advanced weaponry on the planet, as well as enough ground troops to stage a blitzkrieg, according to the general.
The Pentagon has one combat brigade each in Germany and in Italy, comprising about 10,000 of the total 65,000 US troops permanently stationed in Europe. Combined with a rotational armored brigade of 4,000 soldiers and an additional 1,750 troops from an aviation brigade, as well as hundreds of tanks, multiple ground-based weapons, many missile-defense emplacements, and an ever-changing number of fighter jet aircraft, many consider the US contribution to NATO to be more than sufficient.
Not mentioned in Scaparrotti’s complaint was the fact that the US has somewhere between 150 and 200 nuclear weapons permanently in Europe, presumably aimed at targets within Russia.
Scaparrotti echoed the concern of many lawmakers, that the US currently appears to be floundering diplomatically, and declared that a clear mandate to expand the US military footprint in NATO would make European allies feel safer while projecting an image of strength toward Moscow.
The administration of US President Donald Trump has yet to fill hundreds of key vacancies within the State Department, including that of assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
“We always want diplomacy to take the lead,” the general asserted, while calling for more weapons.
Tags: Curtis Scaparrotti; Donald Trump; Europe; Germany; Italy; NATO; NATO aggression; Russia; Russian aggression; threat; threat to peace; United States; US European Command (EUCOM); US nuclear weapons